The Texas Tribune reports that there are currently 19 abortion centers in the state, down from 40 in 2013. Why? They’re refusing to comply with basic health and safety rules.
Texas passed HB 2 in 2012, legislation designed to protect women from unsafe conditions. It requires abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of where they operate, while another provision (yet to go into effect) demands that abortion facilities uphold the same standards as other surgical centers.
Admitting privileges ensure that in the event of an emergency, the hospital will know of a woman’s condition and be prepared to deal with it as soon as she arrives. That’s important, as there have been multiple examples of women who’ve died while awaiting care following botched abortions. Even some in the abortion industry recognize the value of admitting privileges: in 2000, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) recommended that women use abortion providers who “[i]n the case of an emergency,” can “admit patients to a nearby hospital (no more than 20 minutes away).”
Raising clinic standards is vital too, something inspections at the abortion chain Whole Woman’s Health (WWH) have demonstrated.
A 2013 inspection of WWH’s center in Beaumont, TX revealed “numerous rusty spots on the suction machines,” something that “had the likelihood to cause infection.” They also noted the potential for “rodents to enter the facility.”
That came after a 2012 inspection revealed “infection control issues” as staff didn’t “perform the correct procedure for the sterilization of the surgical instruments.” Back in 2007, WWH was fined for not having “a midlevel provider, a registered nurse, or a licensed vocational nurse” there either:
Similarly, WWH’s San Antonio facility lacked “acceptable environmental controls in cleaning and preparing instruments for sterilization.” Of WWH’s five centers in the state, four of them racked up multiple violations.
Texas’ safety measures are facing a legal challenge, and the Supreme Court is expected to announce a ruling in the coming days. Who’s challenging them? Whole Woman’s Health.
Amy Hagstrom Miller is WWH’s founder, and last year, she discussed in an interview how men can benefit from abortion. She doesn’t seem as concerned about women’s safety, though. Failure to protect it is the reason abortion businesses are closing.